|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to enter into discussions with the new government of Bangladesh on human rights in that country. 
Bill Rammell: We welcome the commitment of the newly elected government in its election manifesto to ensure the impartiality of the judiciary, stop judicial killings and strengthen and make effective Bangladesh's newly-formed Human Rights Commission. We look forward to seeing progress on all these issues and will make human rights a priority in our engagement with the government. We plan to play an active role in the Universal Periodic Review of Bangladesh's human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in February and are offering practical assistance to the country's Human Rights Commission.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the budget for the Overseas Territories Programme Fund is for 2008-09; and how much was spent from the fund in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his remarks on a durable funding mechanism for carbon capture and storage (CCS) of 9 December 2008, Official Report, column 416, if he will (a) place in the Library a copy of the background papers supporting this initiative and (b) place in the Library and publish on the appropriate departmental website a copy of the full proposals for the CCS funding mechanism once it has been considered at the European Council meeting to which he made reference. 
Gillian Merron: The compromise text resulting from the agreement at the European Council, as drafted by the French presidency, has still to undergo a vote in Plenary in the European Parliament, so it would be inappropriate to publish it at present. Should the European Parliament adopt the proposals as drafted, they will be published by the Commission in due course. Following publication we will place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects the Government is undertaking with the provincial government of Katanga in Democratic Republic of Congo and with mining companies to improve transparency in the award of contracts for resource extraction. 
The UK Government are in discussions with the provincial Government of Katanga, three international mining companies and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) about a joint development initiative to improve operating standards and capacity in the provincial mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and to ensure that local people benefit from Katanga's mineral wealth. One of the aims of the initiative will be to improve transparency in the mining sector by, for example, linking to implementation of the extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI) in the province. However, the initiative will not directly address the award of new mining contracts in DRC. The initiative is currently in the planning phase and we expect to begin implementation later this year. We understand the World Bank may include strengthening national government capacity to negotiate mining contracts as part of their planned mining sector reform programme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department appointed a senior information risk owner in accordance with the report, Data Handling Procedures
in Government and the accompanying document Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action; when the appointment was made; and what grade the person holds within the Department. 
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) chief information officer is the Departments senior information risk owner and is a member of the FCO Board. The present incumbent took up his appointment to both roles in March 2007.
Gillian Merron: The Governments Delivery Plan for Sustainable Procurement and Operations on the Government Estate, published in August 2008, provides a full account of the initiatives departments are taking to reduce their energy waste. The Government have committed to updating the Delivery Plan on a six monthly basis, and the first update was published on 18 December. Further details of sustainable operations in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) can be found on page 111 of the 2007-08 FCO departmental report
Since the publication of the departmental report, the FCO has used information obtained for display energy certificates and external ISO 14001 audits to further improve energy efficiency. A hundred overseas posts are introducing an environmental management system which includes measures to improve energy efficiency. This scheme will be rolled out to further posts later this year. Our current information technology infrastructure is being replaced by a system with advanced power saving settings which should also offer a significant energy saving.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 336-7W, on Government Departments: information and communications technology, which IP addresses are used by (a) his Department and (b) computers in the offices of its (i) Ministers, (ii) communications officials and (iii) special advisers. 
Gillian Merron: To help defend against electronic attack, it is standard information security practice not to publish internal internet protocol (IP) addresses. When accessing internet websites, the IP addresses of all of the computers on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's internal office IT system are hidden behind publicly available IP addresses; including 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. These IP addresses are shared with other Government Departments that use the Government Secure Intranet.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the members of the internal selection board for appointing heads of mission for his Department are; in what region of the UK each was born; what the (a) gender and (b) ethnic balance is of members of the board; and whether any have publicly declared their sexual orientation. 
Two members of the number one selection board are female; the other five members and the chair are male. The chair and five members of the number two selection board are female; there are 17 male members. The chair and one other member of the Band D selection board are female; the other three members are male. All are white. The FCO does not collect data on the sexual orientation of its staff. The regions of birth of the members of each selection board are as follows:
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of each of the working papers drafted to frame discussion of EU-US affairs for the informal meetings of EU foreign ministers in September and November 2008. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 16 December 2008]: The EU presidency drafted a paper to focus discussion on various aspects of the EU-US relationship for both the informal EU Foreign Ministers meetings in September and November 2008. Those present at the meetings agreed that the paper would not be published. Therefore I am unable to place a copy of the paper in the Library.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total running cost of the British embassy in (a) Ottawa, (b) Washington, (c) Beijing, (d) Tokyo, (e) Sydney, (f) Johannesburg and (g) Delhi was in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts overseas derive income from visa fees and consular services, and incur expenditure in running costs, programme and capital expenditure. The figures in the table represent the net running costs of missions calculated by deducting income from expenditure figures. Fluctuations in the figures from one year to another can result from changes in income from visa fees as well as increases or decreases in post expenditure. Increased expenditure in Ottawa in 2004-05 is attributed to higher than usual Programme Expenditure of £4.6 million in that year.
|(1) Data not accessible|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|